Tumbling down from the Andalusian mountains comes the scuzzy desert punk of newcomers Los Cosmics’ debut self-titled EP. Recorded entirely in a studio made of recycled bikes and zip ties, the release is a welcome blast of grit on the disinfectant wipe of the current state of music. Building your own studio will always hold more allure than paying Disinterested Darren the music college drop-out twenty pounds an hour to fuck up your album, and it’s a better story too.
Opening track “Tar and Steam” acts as our proper introduction to the Los Cosmics manifesto, and does so with perverse pleasure. When the guitars come in you can practically hear the strings fraying in the blistering desert heat. The hooks are belted out in a soulful rasp, while the verses are given a dose of apocalyptic spoken word which is delivered in the manner of a preacher on the verge of losing his faith. The band has a no-frills approach, but the dynamics and directions switch up often enough to keep the format fresh, weaving between different styles with barely a thread out of place.
Black Silk” takes the blues motif and doubles down. A scuzzed up riff lurches into the scene, soon joined by some low-slung drawled vocals dishing out mystical witticisms. The sound manages to straddle the line between psychedelic voyage and brutal truth, like when you’re tripping but your jealous tee-total friend constantly tries to ruin it by bringing up reality. The lyrics are thick with malice and portent.
“Out come the wolves,
Out come the sinners,
Out come the ones who couldn’t do the nine-to-five and TV dinners,
Out come the pissed artists,
And Rudy who rules the park with an iron fist”
The themes throughout the rest of the tracks take an anarcho-primitivist slant, highlighting the mirage of our so-called civilization and imagining our distant ancestors carving arrowheads by the river. There’s not many who would deny that this image is infinitely preferable to the ones we are currently bombarded with. The EP. closes out with “Roots”, a sinister seven-minute dirge exploring humanity’s connection to Earth which starts slow, builds to a chaotic crescendo, has a quick digital freak-out and pours a beer on the amp.
In order to keep their sound authentic, these mystical mountain men will have to remain in the mountains. That way they can periodically update us on a simpler way of life from an idyllic setting in the form of demonic blues recorded by solar energy. Whether we learn anything from them is up to us. Grab the EP. here.